Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama

Both candidates wanted this endorsement.

John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina who bowed out of the presidential race in January, endorsed Senator Barack Obama at a rally here tonight.

“The reason I am here tonight is because the Democratic voters of America have made their choice and so have I,” Mr Edwards said.

Officials announced the news of Mr. Edwards’s endorsement shortly after Mr. Obama landed here late this afternoon. The campaign timed it to coincide with the start of the major evening newscasts, which would have otherwise focused on Senator Hillary Clinton’s landslide victory in West Virginia, which raised new questions about Mr. Obama’s strength with white working class voters.

Steal the thunder of the evening news cycle. For those who watch evening news.

Mr. Edwards began by paying tribute to Mrs. Clinton. “It is very, very hard to get up every day and do what she’s done,” Mr. Edwards Mrs. Clinton. “It is hard to go out there and fight and speak up when the odds turn against you. What she has shown is strength and character.” He said Mrs. Clinton is a “woman who is made of steel. She is a leader in this country not because of her husband but because of what she has done.”

That's classy. Nicely put.

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton have both heavily courted Mr. Edwards’s endorsement, calling him frequently and sending messages through surrogates.

So it was often reported: both wanted this endorsement. However, only one would get it; the other would then minimize its importance.

Terry McAuliffe, Clinton campaign chairman, made the following statement today in response to Mr. Edwards’ endorsement: “We respect John Edwards, but as the voters of West Virginia showed last night, this thing is far from over.”

Of course.

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